Today we're covering the basics of air travel with your pet. In this post we're detailing how to select an airline approved pet carrier for keeping under the seat in front of you, in the cabin of the airplane.
If you're looking for info on checking your dog in the cargo hold of the plane, see our post on the best airline approved dog crates for cargo hold air travel.
Best Airline Approved Pet Carriers for Cabin: Quick Picks
There are several variations of different airline approved pet carriers to choose from. Some differentiating features include:
We're using extensive research and consumer data to bring you a review of the best airline approved dog carriers.
All of these carriers come highly rated, so you can't really go wrong. With wheels, foldable extensions, mesh sides, and all manner of handles, you have plenty of great options to choose from!
Please note that there is no one official airline approved dog carrier, as carrier requirements vary between airlines. However, all of these carriers have been used for air travel and should suit your needs.
Still, we suggest you always double check your specific airline carry-on dimensions with any carrier you consider ordering.
Looking for a carrier you can check in cargo during your flight? See our guide to airline approved dog crates for cargo hold.
About: The Petsfit Expandable Airline Approved Pet Carrier is stylish carry on dog carrier that can be expanded or retracted through the use of fold-out panels. It can even be collapsed completely for easy storage and transport.
PROS: This airline friendly pet carrier boasts an expandable “porch,” which gives pets extra room to move, lounge, or view the world. High quality, sturdy and well-built with soft, comfortable base pad.
CONS: Only one color choice. A little hard to open the expandable section with pet inside.
About: The Bergan Soft-Sided Airline Pet Carrier is a soft, duffle-bag style carrier that allows for discreet transportation of your canine as a carry-on.
PROS: Good quality. This carrier's wheels and straps are easy to use and comfortable, with extra side pockets for leash, treats, or other items. This airplane pet carrier also has some nice color choices. Overall a great dog carry on bag with wheels.
CONS: Sizes tend to run small for airline approved dog carriers. Can be confining for large pets.
About: The Sleepypod Under Seat Dog Carrier is the whole package - it functions as a airline carry-on carrier, a car seat, and a dog bed!
PROS: Extremely high quality and sturdy, easy to attach to luggage carriers, sleek design, and a comfortable interior.
CONS: More expensive than other airplane pet carriers, plus somewhat bulkier.
About: The Sherpa Deluxe Airline Dog Carrier is an airy, duffle-style carry on carrier with abundant mesh windows, providing extra ventilation for you pooch.
Guaranteed Airline Approved Cabin Pet Carrier. Suitable for travel on most major domestic airlines.
Flexible Frame. Springy wire frame with soft-sided carrier material flexes to fit under various seat dimensions.
Straps. Includes both seatbelt and luggage strap for easy carrying and safe travel.
Easy Entry. Contains both top and side entry panels as well as full mesh panels for ventilation.
Sizes. Small (for pets up to 8 lbs), Medium (for pets up to 16 lbs), and Large (for pets up to 22 lbs).
Multiple Colors. Available in Paisley, Plum, Black, Brown, Gray, Red.
Available for purchase on Amazon
PROS: A well-ventilated, flight approved pet carrier. It boasts roomier size and a comfortable fleece pad.
CONS: Can be heavy on your shoulders if you have a bigger pet, and can also be a tight fit on some airlines.
About: The Snoozer Wheel Around 4-in-1 Pet Carrier is a rolling bag styled carrier that is ideal for those who'd rather not lug around their pup over their shoulder the entire trip, opting instead for the convenience of rolling wheels.
Large Mesh Panels. 3 sides of mesh panels for viewing and ventilation with easy zipper access.
Folds Flat. Folds down for easy storage or transport when not in use.
Multiple Options. Can be worn as a backpack, rolled on the ground, lain flat, or stands on its own with pet inside.
Telescoping Handle. Provides multi-stage telescoping handle and wheels for easy maneuvering.
Pockets. 2 side storage pockets for leash, treats, bowls, or food.
Sizes. Medium (for pets up to 9 lbs) or Large (for pets up to 10 lbs).
2 Color Choices. This airline approved pet carrier comes in two color options - Red/Black or Khaki/Navy.
Available for purchase on Amazon
PROS: Nice for pets that like to sit upright and view the world. The rolling wheels is another very handy feature for this airline approved dog carrier.
CONS: Plastic construction sometimes unstable, with some buyers reporting broken parts. Hard base must be removed for it to fit under seats.
About: The Sturdibag Large Airplane-Friendly Carrier is another duffle-style carrier with multiple doors, straps, and windows for your canine's comfort during flight.
Lightweight. Made of very lightweight durable 600 denier polyester with flexible rods that help maintain arch shape.
Comfortable Straps. Easy to carry with an adjustable 4-point padded shoulder strap and leather hand grips.
Multiple Mesh Panels. Several mesh windows for viewing and ventilation that can be covered as well for privacy or comfort for your pet.
Safety Straps. Perfect to strap in airline seats or for car seat belts.
Available on Amazon for purchase.
PROS: Lightweight, roomy interior. Also has a flexible size and shape for different sized airline requirements. Another fun bonus is the wide variety of colors and patterns this airplane dog carrier provides.
CONS: Only one entrance/exit can be a bit of a hassle.
About: The Teafco Argo Airline Approved Dog Carrier is a stylish carrier with durable fabric and surrounding dual mesh windows for your dog's comfort.
Rugged Construction. Made from quality 840 denier nylon fabric.
Mesh Windows. Dual mesh panels on all sides for ventilation, viewing, and pet comfort.
Convenient Size. Ideal for small dogs and cats.
Water resistant. Sturdy construction and fabric protects your pet and repels water.
Adjustable Straps. Shoulder strap is adjustable and removable for easy access to top zipper.
Multiple Colors. This airline approved dog carrier comes in black, kiwi green, berry blue, tango orange, and petal pink.
Two Sizes. The small is suitable for puppies, kittens, or toy breeds. The large is better for small pets.
Available for purchase on Amazon.
PROS: This under seat airline dog carrier uses high quality, durable fabric, with sturdy mesh windows,
CONS: Some say this carrier is not breathable enough. It's also on the expensive side.
About: The DoggyDolly Airplane Friendly Pet Carrier is a fun, unique looking dog carrier with a style all its own!
PROS: High quality with a very unique design. This dog carry on bag is sturdy yet flexible.
CONS: Not super strong on the inside, so not ideal for shredder pets.
Do you have any experiences with airline pet carriers you'd like to share? Tell us about your favorites and review your top picks in the comments section!
Want more ways to travel with your pooch? Check out our guide to dog bike baskets!
Meg Marrs is the Founder and Senior Editor at K9 of Mine. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! She loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!